Motorized Screen Porch Cost

by Matthew David | Updated: 09/14/2023

Motorized Screen Porch Cost

So you’re thinking about adding a screened-in porch to your home? Fantastic idea! A screened porch is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors without dealing with bugs, rain, or nosy neighbors.

When it comes to screened porches, you have two options for your screens – fixed or motorized retractable. Both have their pros and cons when it comes to cost. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know to decide which type of screened porch is the best fit for your home and budget.

First, What Exactly is a Screened Porch?

Simply put, a screened-in porch is a porch that is enclosed with screening on all sides. Screened porches are typically built onto an existing porch or patio.

The screens allow air to flow through while keeping out mosquitoes, flies, and other pests. This lets you enjoy your outdoor space in total comfort!

Screened porches are also great for increasing privacy from neighbors. You can chat and relax without feeling like you’re “on display.”

Biggest Benefit of a Screened Porch: Protection from the Elements

One of the best things about a screened porch is being able to enjoy the outdoors regardless of the weather or temperature. Here are some of the key benefits:

With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why screened porches are so popular!

The Main Decision: Fixed vs. Retractable Motorized Screens

The first big decision you’ll make is whether to use fixed screens or retractable motorized screens. What’s the difference?

Fixed screens are permanently installed. They can’t be easily opened or closed.

Retractable screens can be opened or closed with the push of a button. The screen retracts into a cassette when not in use.

Retractable screens provide more flexibility, but they are also more expensive. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each:

Pros of Fixed Screens:

Cons of Fixed Screens:

Now let’s look at the pros and cons of motorized retractable screens:

Pros of Retractable Screens:

Cons of Retractable Screens:

As you can see, the choice between fixed and retractable really depends on your budget and needs. If you value flexibility and want screens that disappear when not needed, motorized retractable screens are worth the investment. If cost is a bigger factor, fixed screens provide an affordable permanent bug barrier.

Now that you know the key differences in types of screens, let’s look at the costs in more detail.

Factors That Determine Screened Porch Cost

The biggest determinants of overall cost for a screened porch are:

Larger porches will obviously cost more than smaller ones. Fancy options like ceiling fans and lighting increases costs too.

But the number one factor is whether you’re building a porch from scratch vs. just adding screens around an existing foundation. Let’s look at both scenarios:

Cost to Build a New Screened Porch

If you’re starting entirely from scratch, building a new screened porch averages between $25,000 and $45,000.

The cost per square foot averages $32.50 to $90.50 for a completely new build.

That covers the full construction – the roof, flooring, electrical, screens, etc. Everything required to build a porch on a new foundation.

Here are cost estimates based on size for a brand new custom screened porch:

As you can see, size is definitely a major cost factor when building a new porch.

Cost to Add Screens to an Existing Porch

If you already have a patio or porch in place, adding screens is much cheaper. You can have permanent screens installed around an existing foundation for $3,200 to $5,800.

The cost per square foot drops significantly – from $90 per square foot for new construction down to just $11.50 per square foot to add screens to an existing space.

If your porch structure and roof is already built, you save a ton by just adding screens!

Additional Cost Factors to Consider

While size and existing foundation vs. new build are the two biggest cost factors, you also need to account for:

Screen Material

You have lots of options when it comes to the actual screening material. The most common choices are:

Labor

Installing a screened porch takes specialized skills like carpentry, welding, and finishing work.

Professional installation averages $25 to $35 per hour. DIY projects can save on labor but may require specialty tools and skills.

Roofing

Your porch roof can be made from materials like:

Fancier roofing materials like copper or glass raise costs.

Accessories

Additional features and accessories can significantly increase your total porch costs:

Railings

For safety, most screened porches need decorative railings which cost:

Permits and Fees

Most areas require building permits and zoning approval to construct a new screened porch. These fees typically add $800 to $1,000 in costs.

Maintenance

Upkeep costs are higher for motorized retractable screens that require motor maintenance. Replacing torn screens or damaged framing may be needed over time as well.

As you can see, all the extras can really add up! It pays to make your design as simple as possible if budget is a big concern.

Making the Choice: DIY vs Hiring a Professional

For skilled DIYers, it may be tempting to tackle building your own screened porch to save on labor costs.

However, for such a big project, hiring a professional is highly recommended. Here are some of the benefits:

If you do want to DIY, you can purchase pre-fab screen porch kits starting at around $1,100. These include all the framing, screens, and accessories but you provide the installation labor.

YouTube tutorials can be helpful but use caution – every house is different, and screened porches require weight-bearing foundations.

Getting free estimates from local deck and porch contractors is recommended before deciding on DIY vs. pro-build.

Making the Best Choice for YOUR Screened Porch

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into the cost of a screened porch!

The major factors include:

Carefully weigh whether flexibility and convenience justify the higher price of retractable motorized screens.

And remember – investing in professional installation helps ensure your porch is constructed safely and designed to last.

A screened porch adds significant value and enjoyment to any home. With good planning, it can be a centerpiece for entertainment, relaxation, and connection with nature for years to come.

Here’s to many great seasons enjoying your dream screened porch oasis!